Facing Fear in the Midst of Chaos

Baby Yoda is MISSING IN ACTION! Well, sort of. This past weekend, my partner and I have had to fight with moving companies about when and where our stuff is. Its been 3 weeks! We’re getting brief calls here an there, and suspect that our boxes will eventually arrive sometime this week. I never thought I would be in “The Mandos” shoes, but, here we are.

Ta-da! Our living room/den area! You can see the beanbags we’ve been relying on for chairs (and sometimes napping spots). Kodi doesn’t seem to mind the amount of space he’s got though.

Its kind of weird settling into a new place. People weren’t kidding, It can be stressful! Moving from one place, to the next, and then moving AGAIN two weeks later has been life’s version of boot camp. Packing and getting things ready to go wasn’t really the stressful part though. Its been arriving at the apartment, processing the place, and settling into an area that doesn’t feel quite like home yet. It feels so empty without our belongings, never mind the hurdle of making food with only a pan and relying on the utensils we get from the occasional (and totally not addicting) taco bell order.

As I sat in one of the beanbag chairs, the stress and discomfort got to me. Admittedly this week I haven’t been to active or going outside. We’ve explored the mall and some local stores, as well as our upcoming office space (only the outside), BUT most of my days were spent in this empty, grey lit carpeted area with the view of the image you see above. Its been tricky adjusting to one place only to move to another two weeks after. We moved from 70 degree weather to around 90–100 degrees in this new place we call home. Most days here are sunny. The sun isn’t bad but, as you can imagine as a kid who spent most of their teenage years behind a computer screen inside, its intense! Surprisingly, the humidity isn’t bad here (lets hope I didn’t jinx that).

When you move into a place for the first time, you take those next couple of steps to adulthood. Blah blah. BUT, you also experience quite a bit of homesickness. In Chicago I was homesick for my hometown, and now here I was, homesick for the place I was homesick IN. I miss my family. I really do. I miss my mom and my cousins and anyone I do consider family. And of course I miss my dad.

Masie on the car ride down to Texas.

There was quite the debate in my head of where I should go. It was Thursday evening, so if there was any time to think about flying out somewhere for this weekend, that was probably the last day to do it. I thought about my mom, my cousins, my partner’s family, hell maybe even go to see some great friends up in Seattle.

Its been about a year since I have been to Colorado. I lived with some amazing folks for a short while during the Roblox Internship; it was like a safe quarantined version of the usual on-site experience. Living with them for those couple months opened my eyes to so many things, and helped me process so much with my dad being sick and some other conflicts I ran into. They’re like family to me.
I wanted to see them again. It was an odd parallel, thinking about how empty the room was vs how busy and awesome the time in Colorado ended up being. I mean, its been less than a week in Texas so that’s not at ALL an accurate amount of time to measure what the next few months are going to be like here, but, something in my gut was telling me to do something to lift the spirits.

So I thought to myself “What if I booked a flight.. right now?”

Nah. Nope. No way! That’d be really risky and last minutes and a little expensive! That’d be pretty crazy. No- you’d need to figure out… how to get to the airport. Uber.. hm. And what about blah, and blah?! No. That’d be crazy.
… But why is it crazy?? Its a weekend. Sure you may have to move some hours around for work and wake up earlier but, its doable. Why shouldn’t you? You can afford an Uber, you can afford the flight, you can afford the time. Why rid yourself of that opportunity to see your family again and experience a day or two of adventure?

Fear. I was afraid. Not afraid of them or what could happen, not afraid of the cost or the flight, but afraid of the spontaneity.
I am so used to the idea that in order to take a vacation and in order to travel properly, you need to plan weeks ahead. You need to budget, save, and wait. But that certainly is not the case at all, especially if you have the time and the money to afford a last minute round trip ticket.

Spontaneity scares me a lot. I haven’t gotten comfortable with the idea of it due to years of planning and prepping to get to this point. It was time to change things and grow beyond that.

I contacted the folks in Colorado, jumped with joy when they agreed to it, and bought the ticket (which there was only one non-stop direct flight left).
Dont get me wrong, I was really excited and happy that I was about to take this leap, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t scared. I was very concerned, actually! “Maybe I am going crazy. This is nuts. What the heck are you thinking?? How are you even going to explain this to x,y,z??

But, I realized what those thoughts were. They were fearful, anxious me. The past me. The me I want to grow from, not grow comfortable with.
Its so important to see those thoughts, recognize them, and say to yourself

no. not anymore. not today.

And so, I woke up at 5am and worked the hours that I would have worked during the flight portion of the day. I packed a backpack, some chargers, my ID and my mask. I ordered and Uber, and took off.

I landed in Colorado around 1pm, so I was lucky enough to still have half of the day to spend with the family in Colorado (im going to call them Colorado Fam from here on out just to make things easier). We grabbed a bite to eat and I finished up work remotely at their place until around 5pm. From there on, I shut off the laptop and only used my phone when I wanted to take pictures or communicate the adventures we’d go on from there on.

The remarkable homemade Chai Tea created by the one and only Colorado Fam.

I will first start off with this: Chai Tea. When anything is home made and made with appreciation and care, you know. You can just taste it. This entire paragraph is going to be just about the WONDERFUL DRINK that is Chai Tea. ESPECIALLY the one the Colorado Fam makes. oh my GOOOSH! YUMMY!!!

If you haven’t tried it, try it!

We drank some Chai Tea and took is easy that evening. We ordered some Taco Bell. We chatted about potentially watching Lord of the Rings (I have only seen the first half of the first movie). But at the end of the day we ended up sitting down and chatting about whats been happening and what ideas we are cooking up behind the scenes. We were all game developers, after all. Some chats about applications we use, some chats about how they’ve rearranged things in their home over the past year, and some chats about family life. It was really nice. Slept like a baby that night.

ADVENTURE DAY

We woke up around 10am on Saturday morning and all collectively decided to head up to the Grand Mesa to hike once awake and eaten some food. It was a beautiful, sunny, but HOT day (95–100 degree weather). We jumped into the car, sunglasses, water and all, and proceeded up the mountain.

A trail within the Grand Mesa, Colorado.

The thing about mountains is that the elevation of the top is high in the atmosphere, and means that the air and temperature gets colder. So much so, that when we got up there, it was around 63 degrees and was raining on and off, a pretty significant difference from the weather down in the valley. As I am sure you can imagine, 63 degrees and on/off rain during a hike is not a bad change in the slightest.

We set off on the trail. Step by step. It wasn’t a long hike, but it was filled with a lot of thoughts internally. I missed these guys a lot. I hope they’re doing okay. I wonder and hope that they aren’t uncomfortable with how quickly I showed up here. Not everyone would be willing to have someone over out of the blue like this. What am I doing, wow, I am in COLORADO right now. This is beautiful, this is scary, this is crazy, this is fun, this is comforting.

During the hike we had some light rain here and there.

Fear is a funny thing. It’s all talk, no action. Seriously, it can and will fill your thoughts and disrupt you from your ambitions and dreams if you let it. But this trip, the flight, the quick planning, the visit, the hike, it was all evidence to me that pushing against fear is such an important part of our lives.

Step by step it felt like I was becoming someone new. Someone bolder, someone ready to accept that taking on those leap-of-faith moments is worth it. That spontaneity is worth it.

And those thoughts were confirmed when I saw this view.

The view was breathtaking. The small hints of life, the reflections of the pools and lakes, the diversity in the trees and foliage. It was out of this world.
And along the trails, small but plentiful, were beautiful bursts of color. If you looked close enough, you’d find yourself observing a tiny hidden world right at your feet.

We drove together to the next chosen spot within the Grand Mesa. However, along they way were these abundant fields packed with orange and purple. We felt incredibly inclined to stop and browse what this world had to offer.

I was awestruck by the color and the magnificence of this view in particular. And as I was taking a stroll through these fields, it hit me just how much truth there was in nature. Our collected individualism, each of our unique and outstanding minds set on one particular goal, can create this kind of a view figuratively. Though we are a community of people, each one of us is on our own journey. Some may have to bend or curve to get to where they want to go, some may be plucked unwarranted, some may have to fight against impossible odds to survive.

And somehow we manage to pull it off. We get there, day by day. Somehow in this open, crazy, unpredictable field we call life.

Here’s me taking some pictures. Guess you could call this a “behind the scenes” image!

We eventually climbed back into the car and continued to our final location in the Grand Mesa. It was a location we’ve been to before, however, the last time I was there it was so windy that things were flying out of our hands! That location had a lot of chipmunks that you could hand feed. I was initially surprised how daring and comfortable they were with humans.

Photo from last year’s trip. They’ll eat seeds right from your hand!

That night was spectacular too. We decided to head to the desert at 10pm, climb a sand dune, and sit on top to watch the night sky. The trudge up to the top was remarkably steep, but climbable on your hands and knees. I haven’t used my hands to grip onto the earth and climb in a long time. Its interesting how moments like that can make you think “just a bit further. just focus and you’ll get there. crawl if you have to.” The sand was incredibly fine, so fine even that it felt soft enough to lay down and fall asleep on. About 10 minutes of hiking and climbing up the dune, we found ourselves at the top. And as I turned to lay down and breathe, I glanced up and I froze. Never had I ever seen so many stars in the sky so clearly. There were no clouds, no light pollution. We could see Jupiter and Saturn on the horizon, shooting stars, the moon, and we even saw the ISS zooming over the sky for a minute or two. It was so beautiful. Almost unreal.

I adore space. I love anything potentially relating to it, I love science, star wars, rockets, the pure luck that comes behind our existence and space itself. My father was like that too. We used to sit in our driveway and look at the moon with a telescope. He used to try to spot shooting stars. We did all this in town though, so it was a little difficult to see all those faint stars lightyears away due to light pollution. But out in the desert, the 70 degree, slight gust of wind at 11pm, the fine grains of sand.. He would have loved every second of that. It was so quiet that someone down at the bottom could talk at normal volume and you’d be able to hear them just fine.

During the entirety of these adventures, it was quite a bit of pushing internally. A part of me would go “nah, just take time to relax at home today”, or “no, dont go out, its 10pm, you need rest”. But listening to that doubt would have resulted in missing some of the most beautiful sights I had ever seen in my life, never mind sharing those moments with some of the most spectacular people I have ever met.

Persistence is key in a world filled with doubt. You can achieve things most would deem impossible. The importance within that endeavor is that you do not listen to doubt or fear, not even from inner self.

It can be scary, it can be difficult. Take a breath, assess the situation, and see if its a boundary you really want to push through. Do you want to gain muscle? Do you want to read over 10 books this year? Do you want to learn a new skill? You’ve gotta put in the time, effort and dedication to make that change happen. Its the same for conquering fear.

Fear is a lifetime battle, but the more you experience, the easier it gets. Seek out that experience. Travel. Ask strangers questions. Start the conversation. You are the author of your life. Have a gut feeling but a small voice is telling you no? Push that voice aside. You can have a fantastic, sporadic weekend if you allow yourself to.

Game Developer. I like writing and creating things!